Hi-Tech Hospital Bag Worthy of My First Child's Birth

"Early Show" contributor and CNET Senior Editor Natali Del Conte.
CBS
NEW YORK (CBS) A friend of mine said she packed her hospital bag weeks before delivery, but still made her husband frantically throw last-minute items in once her labor started. I'm sure I'll be no different!

My bag is packed, but I'm pretty sure it is insufficient. I just don't know what to anticipate. What I do know is technology!

So, here is my high-tech hospital bag checklist so I am guaranteed to be able to communicate with my family, document the experience, and surf the Web if and when I get bored. (I'm told it can be a long process with lots of down time!)

  • Cell phone charger. My colleague David Katzmaier had this piece of advice for me: "If you pack nothing else, pack your cell phone charger." This is no time for your phone to die! I packed two white iPod USB power adapters because they can charge pretty much everything on my list just by switching out the USB cords. Any USB power adapter should suffice.
  • Cell phone: I'm currently using a 32 gig iPhone 4. AT&T is pretty terrible here in New York, so I am going to have to put a lot of faith in the network come go-time. Still, the phone has a 5 megapixel camera and shoots high definition video at 720p, so it will be able to take photos and videos as a back-up. If you can't deal with the iPhone or AT&T, here are some other great phones on other networks with high-quality cameras: Sprint HTC Evo 4G, Verizon Droid Incredible, .
  • Video camera: I am a big fan of Kodak's line of portable video cameras. They are FAR superior to the popular Flip cam in that they can take still photos at 5 megapixels and can record high definition video at 1080p. The one we use is the Kodak Zi8 Pocket Video Camera. It also has a larger, 2.5-inch LDC screen so you can play back what you've just shot on a lovely display.
  • Still camera: It is hard to choose a bad camera these days. Most of them take great photos, and few have a resolution lower than 8 megapixels. I have the Kodak EasyShare M530. It is fast to start up, easy to use, small and compact, and you can find it online for around $100. If you want to splurge in this area though, the new Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H55V is lovely! It is fast, it captures HD movies with a stereo microphone for sound, and has a built-in compass and GPS receiver for geo-tagging photos. Not that you'll forget where this set of photos is taken!
  • Single Lens Reflex (SLR) camera: These are the Big Mama cameras that take super high resolution and high quality photos. I'm a big fan of the Nikon D-series, but that is a lot of camera for me. The camera in our bag is the Olympus E-620. It is budget priced, if you consider that $500 is budget for this type of camera. Despite the entry-level price, the features are slightly above entry level and the photos it takes are just beautiful. It does not have video capture, but it does have some fun art filters for special effects, such as black and white or sepia photos.
  • iPads: Yep, I said iPads. Plural. We are spoiled. Daddy has a 3G iPad and I have the Wi-Fi version. These will be our portable laptops while we wait for e-mailing family, surfing the Web, playing games, watching video, and listening to music. I tasked Daddy with the assignment to make a music playlist for when the labor gets going. He claims to have 3 songs so far. I hope they're calming!
  • Portable MiFi card: If you don't have a 3G iPad or laptop, you'll want to consider a portable WiFi hotspot, such as a MiFi card. These are cards that create their own WiFi network over 3G. I have a prepaid Virgin Mobile MiFi 2200. I highly suggest one of these if you want to make sure you have broadband, because data plans start at just $10. They are also really easy to use and last a long time on a single charge. The card itself is an investment , though. It costs approximately $150.

A few extra things to note: I created a Google document with all the e-mail addresses that I want my significant other to use when he sends the baby's arrival announcement. I know better than to send him that list now. It will surely get lost in his hyperactive inbox. Instead, I made a Google Doc with the e-mail addresses formatted for sending and shared it with him so he can cut and paste the list when the time comes.

Oh -- as for all of this documentation, don't think the entire event is going to be documented like a news segment. No sir! All photo angles will have to be pre-approved by Mommy, and no photos will be taken of the actual birthing of the child! I'm not that kind of Mommy! I just want the moments when I am cleaned up and smiling to be crystal clear!

But I'm a realist. Even the most beautiful women look like Sasquatch after they've been through labor. Let's just hope Baby is ready for his/her close-up -- even if Mommy isn't!

  • Natali Morris On Twitter» On Facebook»

    Natali Morris is the host of Loaded on CNET TV and other CNET podcasts. She also contributes technology reports for CBS News.

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